Marlins reshuffle board with Jansen back to LA

Marlins reshuffle board with Jansen back to LA

MIAMI -- The Marlins aimed high in their pursuit of a high-priced closer, but they again came up short. Kenley Jansen, who had been weighing a substantial offer from Miami, agreed to terms with the Dodgers on Monday. 

Heading into the Winter Meetings last week, the Marlins were in the mix for the three top closers on the market -- Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon. But all three opted for other opportunities, causing Miami to turn its attention to other possibilities.

The chances are that the Marlins will look to sign two more relievers with MLB track records in order to increase their bullpen depth, and a few free-agent possibilities are Brad Ziegler, Neftali Feliz, Fernando Salas and Junichi Tazawa.

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Missing out on Jansen -- who agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal to stay with the Dodgers -- basically guarantees the Marlins will stay with A.J. Ramos, a National League All-Star who saved 40 games in 2016, as the closer.

Had Miami signed Jansen, Ramos likely would have been moved into the eighth-inning spot. There also was the possibility he could be traded.

Without much organizational depth, the Marlins have been active on the free-agent front, hoping to spend dollars rather than trade away some of their assets.

If the past week has shown anything, it's that the Marlins were determined to spend whatever it took to sign one of the best closers available. Melancon, the club's third choice, eventually signed with the Giants.

Chapman, Miami's top offseason target, turned down a five-year proposal from the Marlins and went to the Yankees for five years, $86 million.

The Marlins reportedly offered $87 million to Chapman, who decided instead to go back to New York.

Once Chapman agreed with New York, the Marlins made an aggressive push for Jansen, offering five years and more than $80 million.

The decision to be so aggressive with Jansen was a difficult one for the Marlins. Because Jansen rejected a $17.2 million qualifying offer from L.A., Miami also would have had to part with its first-round pick -- 13th overall -- in the 2017 Draft.

The Marlins already had an active few weeks, signing right-hander Edinson Volquez and lefty Jeff Locke to help round out their rotation. Reliever Dustin McGowan is returning on a one-year deal, and backup catcher A.J. Ellis came to terms last week at the Winter Meetings.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.